Los Angeles City Council Approves Resolution on Public Banking for November Ballot

Voters will decide on amending the City Charter to authorize the City to form a municipal bank
LOS ANGELES - June 29, 2018 - PRLog -- The L.A. City Council approved a resolution for a measure that will appear on the November 6, 2018 ballot, giving Los Angeles voters the power to authorize the formation of a municipal bank under Section 104(g) of the City Charter. With authority provided by the voters, the City will be able to pursue changes in federal and State law needed to achieve the creation of a municipal bank.

The Municipal Bank of Los Angeles motion was first introduced by City Council President Herb Wesson in July 2017. For the past year, the City has been evaluating the possibility of forming a municipal bank to serve the needs of the City's residents and businesses. A municipally chartered bank would maximize the efficiency of taxpayer dollars, supporting the development of affordable housing, critical infrastructure projects, and the transition to a clean, renewable energy economy.


The passing resolution was praised by public banking advocacy group Public Bank L.A. Organizer Trinity Tran states, "Los Angeles is now the leading force in the national movement for local control of public dollars. This November, voters will have a chance to voice their support for a publicly-owned, democratically governed bank that invests in Los Angeles, not Wall Street. This is an historic opportunity to take back our monetary power to invest in the long-term health of our communities."

Across the nation, 15 pieces of legislation for public banks are being explored through municipal committees and state legislatures. Over three dozen public banking movements are building in cities and states across the country. San Francisco created a 16-person Municipal Bank Feasibility Task Force, while Seattle and Washington D.C. have separately earmarked $100,000 for public banking feasibility studies. Lawmakers in New Jersey and Michigan are pushing towards state-owned banks. Washington State added nearly a half million dollars into their budget to produce a public depository business plan.

In California, public banking advocacy groups from cities across the state formed a coalition to advance State legislation that would facilitate the formation of municipal banks statewide.  Public Bank LA is one of the leading groups in this new organization, the California Public Banking Alliance.

The City Council vote reinforces the growing demand for public banking. Cities and states across the country are seeking ways to better leverage taxpayer dollars and reinvest them in the needs of local communities.


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